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Rethinking America’s Urban Water Infrastructure: Resource Ef

Event Date/Time
Event Location
Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture Building (UPLA), Room 8
Nancy G. Love, Ph.D., P.E.
Event Description
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
2020 seminar series sponsored by the Guo family

Nancy G. Love, Ph.D., P.E.
American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists
2019 Kappe Lecturer
Borchardt and Glysson Collegiate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Adjunct Professor, Addis Ababa University Institute of Biotechnology, Ethiopia
Rethinking America’s Urban Water Infrastructure: Resource
Efficiency, Access, and Public Health
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture Building (UPLA), Room 8


Water infrastructure renewal is receiving significant attention today as many of our
systems are meeting (or exceeding) design life. Cities in countries with well developed economies
like the U.S. enjoy economic prosperity in part due to the development of heavily centralized
water systems that create high levels of water quality and public health, on average. While
centralized water infrastructure has served us well, I argue that we should not be constrained to
applying 20th century thinking as we plan for the future. The current revolution in information
technologies (IT: software, hardware and devices) has the potential to transform urban water
infrastructure by creating more resilient and flexible hybrid systems comprised of an interacting
collection of centralized and decentralized physical & IT systems. I contend that the development
of IT-enabled “smart” hybrid water system solutions has the potential to: improve the efficiency
with which we use resources (e.g., water, power, nutrients); enhance equitable access to water
services; change consumer and provider behavior around water; and ensure that we sustain a
high level of public health, even as more people live in close proximity to each other. In this talk
and through the use of case studies from across different regions around the globe, I will explore
these scenarios and the changing ways in which people live. As an example, one case study will
include the development of “smart” distributed nutrient recovery systems that have been
deployed and are being tested at the University of Michigan.


Dr. Nancy G. Love is the Borchardt and
Glysson Collegiate Professor of Civil and
Environmental Engineering at the University
Michigan, and an adjunct Professor at the Institute
of Biotechnology at Addis Ababa University. She has
a B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering with an
emphasis on Environmental Engineering from the
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D.
degree in Environmental System Engineering from
Clemson University. She has advised over 70
graduate students and post-doctoral research

In collaboration with her students, Dr. Love works at the interface of water, infrastructure,
and both public and environmental health in both domestic and global settings. They focus on
assessing and advancing public and environmental health using chemical, biological and
analytical approaches applied to water systems using both physical experiments and
computational models. Specifically, they: evaluate the fate of chemicals, pathogens and
contaminants of emerging concern in water with relevance to public health and the environment;
use technologies to sense and remove these constituents; and advance technologies that recover
useful resources from water. Dr. Love has co-authored: over 100 peer reviewed papers, chapters
and reports; over 250 conference presentations; and the 2011 textbook Biological Wastewater
Treatment, 3rd Edition by Grady, Daigger, Love, and Filipe. Dr. Love has held leadership positions
in multiple organizations, including with the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the
International Water Association (IWA), and the Association of Environmental Engineering and
Science Professors (AEESP). She is a Fellow of all three of these organizations as well. She is a
licensed professional engineer (P.E.) in the state of Michigan and a Board Certified Environmental
Engineer (BCEE).